Wk11-Artist Conversation-Kyle Kruse

Artist: Kyle Kruse

Exhibition: Janus Maxim

Media: wood carving, printmaking, and sculpture

Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: kylekruseart.com

Instagram: @kyle.kruse

About the Artist

Kruse is 6th year undergraduate senior at Cal State Long Beach who essentially already graduated but came back to do his senior exhibition. In his future he does see graduate school where he hopes to become more interdisciplinary with his art. Although he describes Yale and The School of Visual Arts of New York out of his league it is where he would like to attend because they would be a dream come true. For Kruse these would be ideal schools because they would provide what he describes as “good tracks” for what he wants to do. For fun he enjoys rock climbing and wondering in the wilderness with his camera, but then again he argues that he does not know what fun is. Kruse discovered his passion for art as a young child. He remembers making things out of junk. Once he came to college he decided to take an art class and that alone made a big impact on his decision to pursue art. Kruse’s real journey with art began with a foundation drawing class. Another huge influence in her pursuit of art came from his grandparents who influenced sculpture and drawing on to him.

Formal Analysis

A dark exhibition, that looks almost looks like if you were placed in a movie. There is suspenseful music playing. The dark twist to the music makes the heart race a little faster making the individual wanting to run out. Additionally, its almost as if you feel stuck because your attention is grasped by the beautifully crafted mask and woodcarvings. As you focus more on the exhibition the darker it seems to get and the more you want to know. But at the same time you feel lost. Kruse described that feeling as the individual’s inability to correlate. The feeling of not understanding what we recognize but we still have these unconscious reactions that we need to respond to.

Content Analysis

Janus Maxim is about “ The Void” or standing in the space. An idea inspired by the teaching myths of Prometheus, Janus, and Sisyphus. The most important in the interpretation of the exhibition being Janus who asks us to discover what it would mean to understand how we are wrong in our interpretations of the world. Which is when the individual can step into “ The void” or this idea that there are many thousands of year cycles that talk about progression and the space between reality, memory, the object and what lies between what you are and what you remember. The most important being what allows to transition between life and death. The inspiration for Janus Maxim came from research that Kruse read through his nights on insomnia about different psychological theories.

Synthesis / My Experience

Janus Maxim was perhaps one of the hardest exhibitions in terms of understanding what it meant. In the beginning, when I didn’t know what it meant I was really confused and saw it as “cool” not really as what it was meant to be. Which was an exploration of my interpretations and guiding myself through something that wasn’t about something that is talked about or already out there. Besides being almost completely brain fried in trying to interpret the exhibition I found myself impressed by the craft put into every mask and woodcarving. While I didn’t necessarily find myself personally connected to the exhibition, I felt that I learned something new and that is that not everything cool is intended to be that.


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